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Kentucky’s John Calipari breezed into Charlotte Wednesday, fielding the most-hyped college basketball team in the country as usual and charming his way through a series of interviews at the SEC men’s basketball media day.

A normal football game lasts 60 minutes. Sunday’s between the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers was over after 13.

While the defense is the No. 1 concern for the Carolina Panthers right now, the offense didn’t do its part, either, on Sunday in a 38-17 loss to Green Bay.

It happened 15 years ago, but “The Draw” by Carolina Panthers quarterback Steve Beuerlein that beat Green Bay at Lambeau Field in 1999 remains firmly embedded in Panthers folklore.

If there isn’t at least one 100-yard rusher when the Carolina Panthers visit Green Bay on Sunday, it will be surprising.

Since Lance Stephenson was a high school basketball prodigy in New York, his nickname has been “Born Ready.” From what the Charlotte Hornets and their fans have seen so far, however, Stephenson is still working on getting ready to be an impact player. It may come soon. But this isn’t just a “plug-and-play” sort of deal.

The Green Bay Packers have been around nearly 100 years. They can boast of 27 players with a Packer pedigree in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And a future hall of famer will be playing quarterback for the Packers when Green Bay hosts the Pantherson Sunday at Lambeau Field.

A number of Panthers fans were screaming online after Sunday’s tie against the Cincinnati Bengals that coach Ron Rivera should have gone for it on fourth-and-1 from the Cincinnati 18 and three minutes left in overtime. I don’t agree.

Fowler: The first tie in the Carolina Panthers’ history was one of the most entertaining games I have seen the team play while covering them over their 20 seasons.

Given that they hardly ever play each other, the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals are not terribly familiar with one another’s work until they have to be. On Sunday, they have to be. And they will realize how similar they are.

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Scott Fowler is a national award-winning sports columnist for The Charlotte Observer.
CharlotteObserver.com